Carlisle United's fringe players did little to persuade boss Steven Pressley they are worth a first-team chance as they suffered a 4-0 reserve defeat at Hartlepool.

A combination of senior players and youngsters struggled to impress in the friendly fixture at Victoria Park.

Nicke Kabamba netted a first-half hat-trick for a home side coached by ex-United midfielder Antony Sweeney.

Gavin Holohan added a fourth 12 minutes from time.

Carlisle's side include Elias Sorensen, Canice Carroll, Ryan Loft, Aaron Hayden, Jarrad Branthwaite and Jon Mellish.

Newcastle loan striker Sorensen had their best chance but saw a first-half header saved.

They otherwise created very little and the watching Pressley saw the Cumbrians opened up too easily by Pools in the first 45 minutes.

Carlisle's side was taken by coaches Gavin Skelton, Eric Kinder and Nathan Rooney, with Pressley mostly watching from the stand.

Pools took little time in opening the scoring as Kabamba pounced in the seventh minute, sliding the ball home after keeper Louis Gray had parried a Josh Hawkes shot.

That came after danger man Holohan got behind Carlisle down the right.

That route almost led to a second when Kabamba got on the wrong side of Mellish to set up Hawkes, only for Gray to save.

The lead, though, was doubled in the 12th minute and again it was too easy as Kabamba pulled away from defensive attention at the far post to nod an inswinging Hawkes cross past Gray.

Carlisle, in a 3-4-3 formation, were second best in most departments as Hartlepool pressed better and worked the ball forward with more intent.

United forced a couple of opportunities midway through the half, but Keighran Kerr’s low shot was saved, as was Sorensen’s header from a Charlie Birch cross.

Otherwise Carlisle’s three-man attack of Kerr, Sorensen and Loft made little headway, with midfielder Carroll having a running battle with the hosts’ Nicky Featherstone.

Carroll was, though, too easily beaten for Hartlepool’s third, which came shortly after Holohan had gone close.

A cross-field ball was collected by Kabamba on the right and, cutting infield, drifted past Carroll and slotted past Gray for his hat-trick.

Hawkes almost added a fourth as a combination of first-team hopefuls and youngsters struggled to gain a foothold in the game for Carlisle.

Gray saved from Featherstone after the break before a better spell of United play saw Loft have an effort blocked.

In the main, though, Carlisle were still short of attacking inspiration with Sorensen cutting a frustrated figure.

Pools then added a fourth in the 78th minute when Holohan was fed to the right and he drilled an accurate shot across Gray and into the bottom corner.

Carroll almost grabbed a late consolation for United but saw his goal-bound volley deflected behind. Loft then broke clear but failed to convert a good opening.

Hartlepool: Hemming, Miller, Richardson, Crichlow-Noble, Holohan, Featherstone, Bale, Hawkes, Shepherd, Kabamba, James. Subs: Young, Muir, Fox, Webster, Willoughby, Thompson, Leonard.

Goals: Kabamba 7, 12, 42, Holohan 78

United: Gray, Barnes, Hayden, Mellish, Branthwaite, Birch, Carroll, Charters, Sorensen, Kerr (Wilson 62), Loft. Not used: McLachlan, Bell, Lightfoot.